Because I was on call for work this past week, I couldn't make any big plans for the weekend. I spent most of Saturday afternoon sitting in my living room watching the NFL Draft and answering calls from the help desk. The draft can be fun to watch (it always reminds me of the student housing apartment lottery at Georgetown), but when the weather outside is beautiful the last place I want to be is sitting inside looking at it through my windows. Which is why I finally decided to clean my apartment windows after living there for three years. My windows look out on First Avenue, and since before I moved in they've been covered in a layer of some kind of sooty substance that looks like it runs off the roof when it rains. I'd hoped that my landlord would have a cleaning crew power-wash the windows a few times a year, like in my old apartment in DC, but apparently they don't do that for five-story walkups. So I took matters into my own hands and figured out how to get the windows open enough for me to get some Windex onto them and wipe them down. It took half a roll of paper towels and I ended up with plenty of soot on me, but my windows are much, much better looking now. I even climbed out onto my fire escape for the first time. Now I've got a clear view of First Avenue. I realize that this story is probably of interest only to me, but it makes such a difference to sit in my living room with the shades up and not have the sunlight filtered through a layer of dirt. So that was my productive activity for the weekend.
I got out on Sunday morning for a bike ride in Central Park. I'm preparing for next Sunday's Bike New York, so I needed to put some miles on the bike when I had the chance. I managed to ride 28 miles nonstop yesterday. Combined with my initial ride of 20 miles two weeks ago, I'm at 48 miles so far for 2006. My goal this year is to ride 1000 miles before I put the bike away in October or November. Last year I got to 975 before the weather and social activities cut short my rides. So 1000 miles shouldn't be too hard to reach. After my ride, I went back outside for one of my favorite spring/summer activities: reading in the park. I sat in Carl Schurz Park for about two hours, reading William Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties until my brother called me and then the office started paging me again. I also took a few photos in the park with my new camera, since I haven't had too many chances to use it yet. Check out the Flickr link if you want to see them.